If you've never tried beef bacon, you should! It's fabulous. Fatty and flavorful, it makes an excellent alternative to pork bacon.
Cooking it is easy too - you can pan-fry it, but since I make an entire package at a time, I find it easiest to bake it in the oven.
I know I'm not alone in feeling that bacon is probably one of the best things a person can eat. 😍 I make pork bacon often - whether oven bacon, microwave bacon, or simply pan-frying a couple of slices with eggs for my breakfast.
When I saw beef bacon on a restaurant menu a few weeks ago, I had to try it. I was immediately hooked! It wasn't as crispy as pork bacon, but it was so flavorful. In a way, it tasted even better.
Back home, I realized that I can get it at Whole Foods (the Wellshire Farms brand). I immediately bought a few packages and started experimenting. The recipe below is my preferred way of cooking it.
You'll only need one ingredient to make this recipe - an 8-oz package of smoked uncured beef bacon. As I've mentioned above, I use the Wellshire Farms brand:
Once you open the package, you should get about 8 slices, some wider and some thinner, but all of them cut very thin:
So how do you cook beef bacon? There are three main methods:
- Oven baking. This is my preferred method. It's easy: you place the bacon slices on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, then bake them in a 400°F oven until they are well-browned. This should take 15-20 minutes. In my oven it takes 20 minutes.
- Broiling. Arrange the slices on a foil-lined broiler-safe rimmed baking sheet. Set the oven to broil on high (500°F) and position a rack 6 inches below the heating element (not directly below). Broil the bacon until well browned, about 7 minutes. Keep a close eye on it so that it doesn't burn.
- Pan-frying. This is suitable if you're making half a package, as the whole package won't fit into the skillet. But you could always use two skillets or a double-burner griddle. Place the slices in a large cold skillet. Heat the skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon until browned, turning often, for a total of about 10 minutes.
- Regardless of the preparation method, be sure to place the cooked strips on paper towels to absorb extra grease and stop the cooking process.
- You can strain the rendered fat, save it in an airtight container in the fridge and use it for cooking. It's simply tallow and it's perfect in many recipes or just for frying eggs.
Frequently asked questions
It comes from the short plate, right under the short ribs and between the brisket and the flank. This is the belly of the cow, also used to make pastrami. It's perfect for bacon because it's well-marbled and it has a great beefy flavor that the smoking beautifully highlights.
It's a matter of personal taste, but to me, it's at least as good. It's not as crispy, but it's very rich and it has a wonderful beefy flavor and lots of beautiful marbling.
No. Unlike pork bacon, which you can microwave into crispy perfection, beef bacon should be pan-fried, broiled, or oven-baked. It needs to be browned, and the microwave can't do that.
Naturally, you'd serve this tasty bacon for breakfast or brunch. I like to serve it with fried eggs, as you can see in the photo below. It's not too difficult to time cooking the eggs to the last 5 minutes the bacon needs to spend in the oven.
You can also use this bacon in many recipes that call for pork bacon, such as:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. They're actually very good cold (yes, seriously), and you can also reheat them very briefly in the microwave, covered in a paper towel.
Start with just a few seconds for every two slices and see if you need to add more. The reheated slices will be chewy, but still very tasty.
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Oven-Baked Beef Bacon
- 8 oz beef bacon
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment for easy cleanup.
- Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. It's okay if they touch each other, but they should not be stacked on top of each other.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake the strips until well browned, 15-20 minutes.
- Be careful when removing the pan from the oven - its bottom will have quite a bit of hot rendered fat.
- Using tongs, remove the strips to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve immediately.